Latino USA

Si Se Puede: Chicago Workers’ Sit-In / by Maria Hinojosa | June 18, 2009

Si Se Puede: Chicago Workers’ Sit-In

A labor dispute in Chicago at the end of 2008 caught the nation’s attention. What made it so newsworthy was a confluence of unique factors stemming from the economic issues facing the country.

Leah Fried, UE organizer

The controversial bank bailout of 2008 was supposed to ease the nation’s credit crisis. But one bank that received billions in bailout funds had cut off credit to a Chicago-based manufacturer, forcing the plants closing.

When the company said the bank refused to extend credit to pay for benefits and salary for 60 days as required under federal law, the local union, led mainly by immigrants and supported by a multicultural coalition of workers, decided to occupy the plant until “justice” was given them.

Armando Robles, president of UE local 1110 in Chicago.

Dan Collison and Elizabeth Meister of Long Haul Productions spoke at length to the worker leaders and brings us their story titled, “Si Se Puede: Chicago Workers’ Sit-in.”

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